While you may want to rush through the contract process, don’t! Taking your time to look over a contract can help clear up misunderstandings and disputes before they can even happen. Remember, the contract can act as a roadmap and communicates the expectations that each party holds up. Disputes, should they arise, could easily be fixed by just reviewing the contract. Before you sign, here are a few tips for protecting against contract disputes.
Identify the Parties of the Contract: Make sure the parties involved in the project are clearly and consistently named in the contract. This seems like a “no brainer,” however, any and all parties should be properly identified in the contract, particularly if a party owes an obligation under the terms of the contract. It is especially important to clearly and consistently identify any corporate entities involved in the contract. A party with an “Inc.” suffix is likely a separate and distinct entity than the same named party ending with a “LLC” designation. By doing so, everyone involved will be able to understand who and what will be working to complete the project and their role in the matter.
Identify the Scope of Service: Make sure the contract lists out who will be performing what task, whether certification is needed, how the procedure will be documented, and who is responsible in ensuring the action is completed. By doing so, you will be better prepared to complete the contract completely with little mistake.
Ensure the Aspects of the Contract Are Completed: Keep a copy of the contract on hand and reread it whenever you need a refresher on what to do. If you have to, schedule tasks ahead of time and double-check to make sure the tasks are completed. If you determine that another party has not completed a task as outlined in the contract you may want to discuss the situation with an attorney.
Be Clear About Who Can Do What: If professional services are needed, refer to the contract to know who can or cannot utilize these services. The contract may even indicate that third parties cannot rely on these services or that consent must be obtained before hiring a third-party professional service.
Understand What Insurance Will Provide: Not everything will be covered by insurance. Read the policy and make sure that the contract does not have anything that will conflict with the insurance policy. If you’re not sure whether there is a conflict, have an insurance agent review the contract in the context of the insurance policy. A second pair of eyes could help find tiny disputes that can be easily corrected before moving forward. Also, ensure that the appropriate amount and type of coverage is obtained otherwise you could be found in violation of the terms of the contract.
If you run into a contract dispute or need assistance reviewing a contract, our California and Nevada business litigation attorneys at Turner | Modarelli can analyze the issue and construct a specialized legal strategy centered around the business and its owners, employees, and customers with the goal of minimizing the impact of any legal issue on the company.
Communication of information by, in, to or through this website is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship. Nor is it intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. Turner | Modarelli